Category: School projects

Sir Droid, the mobile app with character!

For the ‘Emergent Technologies’ course, I developed a prototype of a mobile application that gives your smartphone a personality!

In recent years, technological development has entered a momentum in which previously unattainable opportunities (for people without scientific backgrounds) suddenly came very close. Emergent Technologies is all about diving into a wide spectrum of these opportunities, and experimenting with them. By analogy with the film “Videodrome” (D. Cronenberg), which criticizes the modern media using a wide range of technological developments far ahead of their time, we ware asked to develop a project about imaging / simulacra in a contemporary society.

Together with the teachers (Vreys N. and J. Volders) I devised a project that denounces the time constraints and the technology that is beginning to dominate us. I therefore developed a prototype of a mobile application that has its ‘own will’. The philosophy behind the project is that the smartphone is increasingly dominating us (notification, you have to check your emails or facebook status, you have to charge me, …). The free will of the phone is not easy one to cope with, and consists of a few states of behaviour: drunk (when fully charged), hangover (in the morning), happy, angry, and includes nice extras like “give your phone a massage “. In the prototype, you could manually activate some states such as drunk (your phone tells a stupid joke), hangover (your phone starts to scream when you shake too much), massage (give your phone a massage with your fingers) and low battery (you phone calls you constantly).

With this project, I had my first introduction into the development of an Android application, in which I learned by myself how to use the device sensors and many other things. I did not focus on graphic design of the application interface, but rather on the functionality of the prototype.

Things I learned

  • Thinking outside of the box
  • Android development


Photographing your habitat

In a couple of lessons from professional photographer Kristof V., I learned the basics of photographing with a SLR Camera. After a brief introduction on the operation of the SLR camera (Canon EOS 500D), the concepts of lighting and movement were explained based on the exposure triagle (Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed). In the practical sessions, we made shots applying focus / depth and motion. As a final task, we were asked create a photo series consisting of about 8 photos, about your habitat, where “habitat” should be interpreted as a physical location where you spend a lot of time and feel comfortable.

I chose the Rainbowhouse of Hasselt – a local community center for the LGBT, a place that I often visit and work as a volunteer for the local LGBT youth group. With the shots I took, I tried to express feelings of community, activity, comfort and being yourself. Although the lighting conditions were very difficult, the teacher said, this series was a very successful interpretation of the assignment! I share his opinion. ;-)

Things I learned

  • Working with a SLR Camera
  • Looking at your subject
  • The exposure triangle
  • Focus/depth
  • Motion


Infographic: how to become rich?

For the audio-visual techniques course, I was asked to create a visual infographic using Adobe After Effects. An infographic (video) is a short story that explains something, with visual metaphores supporting it. For the assignment, I chose a short and funny story about ‘how to become rich?’ The video was created entirely in Adobe After Effects, and I used some tutorial techniques to achieve the desired text and camera moving effects.

What I learned

  • Adobe After Effects


Memonument, keeping digital memories of our loved ones

“Memonument” is the result of a ‘cross-over’ school project, created by a focus group of 8 students with multidisciplinary backgrounds ranging from graphic design to game design, product design, photography and multimedia (interaction) design. The main theme of the project was ‘Ritualize it!‘, where we went looking for rituals that exist among young people. Starting with ourselves – what ‘rituals’ do we own? Or what rituals do we recognize in our personal environment? – and discussing the results in group, we tried to formulate our own answer to the main question: “Can (new) rituals provide added value in today’s youth?”

The central topic we eventually chose was ‘mourning rituals’, applied specifically to young people. “Memonument” responds to new practices that emerge from the ‘Facebook-era’, where people also live an ‘online’ version of their lives. Online, several memories are kept in the form of digital pictures, movies and even status-updates on his/her favourite social network.

A key element of the grieving process is the feeling of ‘not being alone’. With “Memonument”, we tried to bring the online world and its many valuable memories closer to relatives. “Memonument” is an online memory box, where links to many different digital media that exists online about a person, can be saved. The memory box can be 100% personal, or can be publicly accessible. Each public memory box is connected to a little grieving stone, that lights up whenever someone visits or places a digital memory about that person, indeed bringing an answer to a person’s need to feel connected in difficult times.

Visit our project blog here.

Things I learned

Within this project, I was mainly responsible for developing the website (Thanks to Elies for the beautiful design!). Visit the website here (this is a non-working prototype).



Many, many thanks to a fantastic team: Robin Swerts, Lien De Koninck, Elies Indigne, Christophe Van Eerdt, Tom Ramakers, Soo Heyvaert, Brenda Otatti.

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